The capital of Azerbaijan has long been a stomping ground for oil-industry tycoons. And with a surge of glam hotels hitting the scene, it’s hoping to become the next destination for the Vuitton set. Here, five notable newcomers.
Opening date: Early 2013
Number of rooms: 318
What you’ll love: Multiplex cinema; designer stores; four restaurants; 18-room spa from Espa.
You know you’re in Baku when you…spy the undulating-flame-shaped building, which pays tribute to the country’s nickname, the Land of the Fire.
The details: fairmont.com. Rate not available at press time.
Opening date: October 2011
Number of rooms:309
What you’ll love: Top-floor revolving bar; direct access to the gleaming Park Bulvar mall and its planetarium.
You know you’re in Baku when you…take your first bite of khingal (wheat pasta) with local yogurt and caramelized onions at the Sky Grill.
The details: hilton.com. $$
JW Marriott Absheron Baku
Opening date:May 2012
Number of rooms:243
What you’ll love:Rooftop indoor pool; spa treatment rooms overlooking the Caspian; three restaurants (including Italian and a deli).
You know you’re in Baku when you…see the three large bronze sculptures in the lobby, the work of Azerbaijani artists Salkhab Mamedov and Ali Badullaev.
The details: jwmarriott.com. $$$
Four Seasons Hotel Baku
Opening date: September 2012
Number of rooms: 171
What you’ll love: Lounge serving 50 types of whiskey; walk-in humidor for rare Cuban cigars.
You know you’re in Baku when you…are slathered in mud from the nearby town of Naftalan at the Jaleh spa (the name means “morning dew” in Azerbaijani).
The details: fourseasons.com. $$$
Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel
Opening date:Fall 2012
Number of rooms:176
What you’ll love: Water park; bowling alley; Caspian Sea views from every room.
You know you’re in Baku when you…hear popular local DJ Elio Sanchez spinning techno at Equinox Nightclub.
The details: jumeirah.com. $